Once there was a miller who was poor, but who had a beautiful daughter. One day, the miller had to go and speak to the king, and in order to make himself appear important he said something pleasant to the King.
The miller : "I have a daughter who can spin straw into gold."
The King : "That is an art which pleases me well, if your daughter is as clever as you say, bring her tomorrow to my palace, and I will put her to the test."
And when the girl was brought to the King, he took her into a room which was quite full of straw, gave her a spinning-wheel and a reel. Then, the King said ,
The King : "Now set to work, and if by tomorrow morning early you have not spun this straw into gold during the night, you must die."
Thereupon, the King locked up the room, and left the girl in it alone. So there sat the poor miller's daughter, and for the life of her could not tell what to do, she had no idea how straw could be spun into gold, and she grew more and more frightened, until at last she began to weep.
But all at once the door opened, and came in a little man.
The manikin : "Good evening, mistress miller, why are you crying?"
The girl : "Alas, I have to spin straw into gold, and I do not know how to do it.”
The manikin : "What will you give me, if I do it for you?"
The girl : "My necklace,"
The little man took the necklace, seated himself in front of the wheel, and whirr, whirr, whirr, three turns, and the reel was full, then he put another on, and whirr, whirr, whirr, three times round, and the second was full too. And so it went on until the morning, when all the straw was spun, and all the reels were full of gold.
By daybreak the king was already there, and when he saw the gold he was astonished and delighted, but his heart became only more greedy. He had the miller's daughter taken into another room full of straw, which was much larger, and commanded her to spin that also in one night if she valued her life. The girl knew not how to help herself, and was crying, then the door opened again, and the little man appeared.
The manikin : "What will you give me if I spin that straw into gold for you?"
The girl : "The ring on my finger,"
The little man took the ring, again began to turn the wheel, and by morning had spun all the straw into glittering gold.
The king rejoiced beyond measure at the sight, but still he had not gold enough, and he had the miller's daughter taken into a still larger room full of straw.
The king : "You must spin this, too, in the course of this night and if you succeed, you shall be my wife. But, if you failed, you must die."
When the girl was alone the manikin came again for the third time.
The manikin : "What will you give me if I spin the straw for you this time also?"
The girl : "I have nothing left that I could give".
The manikin : "Then promise me, if you should become queen, to give me your first child."
Who knows whether that will ever happen, thought the miller's daughter, and, not knowing how else to help herself in this strait, she promised the manikin what he wanted, and for that he once more spun the straw into gold. And when the king came in the morning, and found all as he had wished, he took her in marriage, and the pretty miller's daughter became a queen.
A year after, the queen brought a beautiful child into the world, and she never gave a thought to the manikin. But suddenly the manikin came into her room.
The manikin : "Now give me what you promised."
The queen : “ Oh my dear manikin, I will give you all the riches of the kingdom if you would leave my child.”
The manikin : "No, something alive is dearer to me than all the treasures in the world."
Then the queen began to lament and cry, so that the manikin pitied her.
The manikin : "I will give you three days, time, if by that time you find out my name, then shall you keep your child."
So the queen thought the whole night of all the names that she had ever heard, and she sent a messenger over the country to inquire, far and wide, for any other names that there might be. When the manikin came the next day, she began with Caspar, Melchior, Balthazar, and said all the names she knew, one after another, but to every each of the name, the little man said,
The manikin : "That is not my name."
On the second day she had inquiries made in the neighborhood as to the names of the people there, and she repeated to the manikin the most uncommon and curious.
The queen : “Perhaps your name is Shortribs, or Sheepshanks, or Laceleg.”
The manikin : "That is also not my name."
On the third day, the messenger came back again, and said,
The messenger : "I have not been able to find a single new name, but as I came to a high mountain at the end of the forest, where the fox and the hare bid each other good night, there I saw a little house, and before the house a fire was burning, and round about the fire quite a ridiculous little man was jumping, he hopped upon one leg, and shouted -
The manikin sing : 'Today I bake, tomorrow I brew,
Ha, glad am I that no one knew
that Rumpelstiltskin I am styled.'"
The queen felt very glad when she heard the name. And when soon afterwards the little man came in, and asked,
The manikin : "Now, mistress queen, what is my name?"
The queen : "Is your name Conrad?"
The manikin : "No."
The queen : "Is your name Harry?"
The manikin : "No."
The queen : "Perhaps your name is Rumpelstiltskin?"
The manikin : "The devil has told you that! The devil has told you that,"
The manikin cried and in his anger he plunged his right foot so deep into the earth that his whole leg went in, and then in rage he pulled at his left leg so hard with both hands that he tore himself in two.